Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced Sunday, just before the new year, a 40 percent increase in the minimum wage — as a protection for Venezuelans amid soaring inflation.
Effective January 1, the salary increase brings the Venezuelan minimum wage up from 177,608 bolivars to 248,510 bolivars. Similarly, food tickets have been raised from 279,000 to 549,000, bringing the comprehensive minimum wage to a total of 797,510 bolivars per month.
The president also decreed an increase in the pension system, from 177,507 to 248,510 bolivares, while the war bonus has also been increased from 53,252 to 99,340 bolivares.
Maduro, in his address, also pressed that the Government's goal for the first four months of 2018 is to reach 100 percent of care for the elderly, through the Homeland Card system.
"We have to reach 100 percent of pensioners … with the Homeland Card in hand, that is our goal and we will achieve it," he said.
In his message, the president also offered an assessment of the achievements made by the government in the last year, including the successive wins for the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela, the PSUV.
Finally, he reported that the government is strongly promoting a new cryptocurrency, the Petro, which is backed by the country's natural and mineral wealth, saying the move is a solution that will prevent Venezuela from being the target of financial attacks, such as blockades and sanctions.
Edited and with additional reporting by Venezuelanalysis.com.